Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ableman v. Booth XVII: Justice Crawford on Jurisdiction

Justice Crawford parted company with his colleagues on the jurisdiction question. Although the court had the authority to inquire into the circumstances of Booth's detention, once it determined that Booth was in federal custody the proper course was to refer Booth to the federal court:

"[W]hen the inquiry into the process is carried thus far, and it is discovered that it is a valid process, of the issuing of which the federal court or officer had jurisdiction, and the subject matter, or offense named therein, is within the control or jurisdiction of the court or officer issuing it, then, I believe, a just and proper regard for the laws of the general government, and for the due administration of them in their own courts, demands that the state court or officer should decline to proceed any farther, and refer the applicant to the federal court for the relief which he seeks."

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